mostlycloudy
Monday June 1st, 2015 11:40PM

S&P upgrades Suwanee to highest rating

By Staff
SUWANEE - Standard & Poor's (S&P), one of the big three among financial rating agencies, has upgraded the City of Suwanee's rating for its general obligation bond debt to AAA, the highest rating available.<br /> <br /> After completing a review of the City's rating, which had been AA, S&P upgraded the City to AAA with a stable outlook based on the City's continued economic expansion. "We consider the City's economy to be very strong," S&P says in its report. "The stable outlook reflects our anticipation that the City will maintain its very strong liquidity and budgetary flexibility."<br /> <br /> Suwanee is one of only four Georgia cities to have earned a AAA rating from S&P. The others are Roswell, Peachtree City, and Smyrna, which also was just upgraded. Alpharetta has a AAA rating from Moody's.<br /> <br /> "This is like going to the doctor and getting a really clean bill of health," says Mayor Jimmy Burnette. "We are confident that Suwanee is fiscally strong with sound financial policies and practices, but sometimes people don't believe you unless someone else says it's so. We're extremely proud that S&P has independently found Suwanee to be extremely fiscally fit."<br /> <br /> "This is great," says Suwanee resident Leo Lawrenson, who is a financial consultant to city and county governments across the country (but not to any in Georgia) through his Lawrenson Services firm. "A AAA rating says that the government entity's dependability for making payments on debt is high, that its revenues-to-debt ratio is good, that it's not in too much debt, and that the debt is being managed properly.<br /> <br /> "People think that such ratings are simply an economic indicator," he adds. "It's more than that, it's a big part of quality of life in a city. How sound a city's fiscal policy is affects everything. It's an indication of how well-run the city is."<br /> <br /> The City of Suwanee initially obtained a general obligation rating in 2002 when it issued bonds to fund its award-winning open space initiative, which resulted in the acquisition of more than 300 acres of greenspace and the creation of six parks. The City's initial rating was a AA- from both S&P and Fitch Ratings. Since then, the ratings from each agency have been periodically recalibrated and upgraded. The City currently has a AA+ rating from Fitch.<br />
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 5 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 5 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 5 months ago )
Local/State News
Palestinians push ahead in pursuit of war crimes charges against Israel
Stung by a resounding defeat in the U.N. Security Council, the Palestinians announced Wednesday that they joined the International Criminal Court to pursue war crimes charges against Israel.
1:57PM ( 5 months ago )
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 5 months ago )
Applications for US jobless aid rise
More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, but the number of applications continues to be at historically low levels.
9:23AM ( 5 months ago )
Business News
Clarkesville receives statewide water awards
The City of Clarkesville has the second best drinking water in Georgia.
10:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
Hall Planning Commission approves Friendship Rd. development
The Hall County Planning Commission gave unanimous approval Monday evening to rezoning an 8.68-acre tract in southern Hall County along Friendship Road, allowing it to become another part of the significant commercial and residential growth taking place near the recently-opened Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton.
9:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
Ride operator in 2013 N. Carolina fair mishap pleads guilty
The man at the controls of a thrill ride when it malfunctioned and injured a family during the 2013 North Carolina State Fair admitted Monday to tampering with safety equipment intended to prevent such a mishap.
6:18PM ( 5 hours ago )
HSNEGA welcomes new medical director
The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNEGA) announced Monday a medical director has joined the staff at the shelter.
3:46PM ( 7 hours ago )
Georgia education department creates fine arts position
A new position at the Georgia Department of Education will focus on fine arts, including music, dance, theatre and visual arts.
By Associated Press
12:36PM ( 11 hours ago )